It is time for another awesome athlete spotlight. This time we are running (skiing/hiking) in to an adventure with Athlete Kathleen Woodhead, and we are pretty stoked about it!
Austin Massage Company (AMC):
We are coming up on the end of the year. What goals do you have to finish up 2018 and do you have any major goals for 2019?
Kathleen Woodhead (KW):
Water ski season ended in September for me and I just ran Run for the Water 10 miler November 4th. My next race on the books is the 3M Half Marathon in January. I do not have my next big adventure nailed down just yet, but am sure it will not be long. Water ski season will pick back up in the spring, generally after the water warms up a bit and the days get long enough to squeeze in a set or two before or after work.
Do you have any interesting or weird training techniques that you swear by?
I do not necessarily have any interesting or weird techniques, but I will say I probably use Excel more than your average runner, skier, or adventurer. Being a CPA, it comes with the territory. I think keeping a good head on my shoulders and planning (a la Excel) has done me a lot of good over the last several years of endurance racing, adventure planning, skiing, and life in general.
What things outside of competing do you do to prepare?
I used Gilbert’s Gazelles run training as my main mode to prepare for the Mt. Rainier climb over the summer. I’ve also recently joined Generator Athlete Lab and am loving the strength classes I am taking there. I like to keep my running, strength training, and skiing as balanced as I can. I obviously have more time to run and strength train in the water ski off-season. This year things got a bit dicey in July and August when I was training for my Mt. Rainier climb as well as the water ski national tournament. Nationals was on a Thursday and Friday in Kansas. I drove home Saturday from there and flew to Portland the next day to start my Rainier trip. See my Excel quirk above to explain some of how I am able to pull off that kind of scheduling.
How do you feel body work and training work together? Other than massage, what body work are you a fan of?
I am fortunate to have Austin Massage Company on-site at my Silicon Labs office. At the beginning of the year, I started scheduling more regular massages and appreciate the fact that they are helping to hold me together. Most of the time we are working on a mix of what my day job has to me and what I have done to myself running a tough hill workout or having a rough set on the water ski jump ramp. I also enjoy acupuncture and cupping when I get the chance. Anything that calls for an extended period of time relaxing with little interruption is a good thing, and something I certainly do not partake in often enough.
How did you get interested in each of your many talents?
I began water skiing with my family when I was 6 or 7. My dad had a boat and we would spend many weekends on the Neches River in Beaumont, or on Toledo Bend Lake in East Texas. I started competing in high school and was a member of the University of Texas Water Ski team.
I had always dreamed of running and had several false starts in middle and high school. It wasn’t until late into college that it finally stuck and I ran my first mile ever. During my graduate school year I had run out of eligibility to compete for the ski team, but joined the triathlon team and trained for my first marathon (Motorola Austin Marathon in 2004). I’ve been hooked ever since.
As far as the hiking/climbing adventures go, Kilimanjaro was my first big trip in 2013. I went with several local triathlete/Ironman friends. I think we did it because it was there – not sure if anyone ever came up with a better reason than that! Rainier was my first foray into mountaineering/glacier climbing. While it is 5000′ shorter than Kilimanjaro, I found it surprisingly more difficult than Kilimanjaro, and even an Ironman.